2006 – Ushering Better Training

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The human factor involved in ship handling is being rotated within the kaleidoscope of Maritime Training, to bring out a better shape. Today’s ships are technologically advanced and are equipped with sophisticated equipments and hence it demands highly trained operators. A slight lapse on the part of the crew may ruin the cargo, voyage or ship. A good amount of shoveling and spade work took place during the year 2005 in the field of Maritime Training and all that will bear fruits during the year 2006. The Maritime Training Institutes (MTIs) are being reminded that ‘the more you grind brass and recruits, the better they shine.

     The Indian Officers have a good reputation about their professional competency and efficiency. They are on that pedestal due to the excellent training pattern we have adopted in our country. During the eighties, we failed to create adequate formal training facilities for the Ratings. Whereas, East Asian countries went ahead with this and today they are the preferred lot. Globally, the maritime community made changes in their training pattern to adhere to the stipulations given in the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping 1995 (amended in 1998). The transition had to be smooth without hindering flow of manpower to the industry. The DGS had several meetings with Indian National Ship Owners’ Association (INSA), Foreign Ship Owners and Ship Managers’ Association (FOSMA), Maritime Association of Ship Owners Association (MASSA) and other stake holders to devise the training requirements with a view to enhance the employability of Indian seafarers. The salient features of the emerging pattern of training are discussed below.

Bench Marking of Maritime Training Institutes
rom 01 Jan 2006, the MTIs will be permitted to conduct the pre-sea training courses and the four basic STCW courses only if they have the accreditation from either CRISIL or ICRA or CARE. MTIs have been restrained from advertising unless all their courses are graded. However, if they have got the grading for at least half of its courses including all pre-sea and 4 basic STCW courses, they are permitted to advertise those courses graded, correctly indicating the exact number of courses which have not been graded. The grading system will ensure adequacy of training facilities at MTIs and usher in long standing changes in the quality of training. In order to enhance quality, amenities and equipment provided for the training of Saloon Ratings, the DGS introduced new guidelines for MTIs effective from 01 Aug 2005.
Module on HRD in Pre-Sea Courses
The shipboard job demands physical activity, alertness, intelligence and high professional knowledge. When these attributes are stretched for a prolonged duration, the individual is likely to suffer severe stress. It may lead to dissatisfaction, anger etc flaring up into altercations and heated debates or near manhandling of colleagues. All are not trained to combat such situation and contain outbreaks. A leader cannot just watch such scenes and he has to intervene. To cope up with similar shipboard environment and to enhance professional competence, the DGS has introduced a 20 hour ‘Module on Human Relation and Human Resource Development’ in the pre-sea courses of all officers with effect from 01 Oct 2005. The revalidation courses of Masters and Deck Officers have also been reviewed to include this module.
Backing With Academic Qualification
The examinations conducted by the DGS were not equated with the University Degrees or Diplomas with corresponding academic contents. This was a stumbling block for seafarers to pursue further education or a second career ashore. The DGS approved the Diploma in Nautical Science programme leading to Bachelor Degree in Nautical Science in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) from 2004. To facilitate wider adaptation of this pattern of courses by the recognized MTIs, with effect from 01 January 2006, inspections were conducted by the Academic Councils (DGS) and IGNOU. When the scheme is fully implemented, Deck Cadet Courses can eventually lead to Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS), Advanced Diploma in Nautical Science (ADNS) and B.Sc. (Nautical Science) from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
All India Exit Examination for GP Ratings

With a view to enhance the employability and to improve the quality of training of Ratings, a common exit examination was introduced from March 2005. This new initiative is also aimed at ensuring uniform evaluation of all Ratings. On completion of the pre-sea training and the four STCW courses, the MTIs are required to present the Ratings for this examination. The examination is conducted by the DGS, currently in co-operation between the Company of Master Mariner India (CMMI) and the Institute of Marine Engineers India (IME). There will be one written paper of three hours on general ship knowledge and engineering knowledge, followed by an oral examination.
Proficiency in English Language
At an international forum it has been brought out that due to lack of knowledge of English language, seafarers land in serious difficulty, particularly with multinational crew. Since the English language is widely spoken internationally, lack of fluency in English is likely to affect the employment opportunities of Indian Seafarers in foreign flag ships. To mitigate these lacunae, scoring in English language in the minimum educational qualification laid down for various pre-sea courses will also be considered as criteria for selection. Earlier, the scoring in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or the trade qualifications was only given prominence. This change is effective from August 2005
– By Jobships.com
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